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Office of Inspector General

Audit Report
INSUFFICIENT GUIDANCE, OVERSIGHT, AND
COORDINATION HINDER PHMSAS FULL
IMPLEMENTATION OF MANDATES AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration
Report Number: ST-2017-002
Date Issued: October 14, 2016

Memorandum
U.S. Department of
Transportation
Office of the Secretary
of Transportation
Office of Inspector General

Subject:

From:

To:

ACTION: Insufficient Guidance, Oversight, and


Coordination Hinder PHMSAs Full
Implementation of Mandates and
Recommendations
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration
Report No. ST-2017-002
Barry J. DeWeese
Assistant Inspector General for Surface
Transportation Audits

Date:

Reply to
Attn. of:

October 14, 2016

JA-30

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator


The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) develops
and enforces regulations for the safe, reliable, and environmentally sound
operation of the Nations 2.6 million mile pipeline transportation system and
nearly 1 million daily shipments of hazardous materials (hazmat) by land, sea, and
air. The Agency also responds to congressional mandates and recommendations
from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the Government
Accountability Office (GAO), and the Department of Transportation Office of
Inspector General (OIG) on the safe transport of these materials. In addition, the
Agency addresses safety issues raised by other Operating Administrations (OA) in
the Department of Transportation (DOT).
PHMSA has long faced criticism from Congress for its lack of timeliness in
implementing statutory requirementsmandatesand recommendations from
NTSB, GAO, and OIG reports. In addition, in 2005, we reported 1 that PHMSA
needed to address long-standing pipeline and hazmat mandates and NTSB
recommendations. The Ranking Member of the House Transportation and
Infrastructure Committee expressed concerns over the time PHMSA has taken to
1

Actions Taken and Needed in Implementing Mandates and Recommendations Regarding Pipeline and Hazardous
Materials Safety, OIG Report Number AV-2006-003, October 20, 2005. OIG reports can be found on our Web site at:
https://www.oig.dot.gov/.

establish new regulations for railroad tank cars carrying crude oil and to
implement mandates from the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and Job
Creation Act of 2011. 2 The Ranking Member requested that we conduct this audit
of PHMSAs pipeline and hazmat safety programs. Our objectives were to assess
PHMSAs (1) progress in addressing congressional mandates and
recommendations from NTSB, GAO, and OIG issued or open since 2005;
(2) process for implementing mandates and recommendations, including any
impediments to Agency action; and (3) efforts to coordinate and address Operating
Administrations safety concerns.
We conducted our work in accordance with generally accepted Government
auditing standards. We reviewed PHMSAs 263 mandates and recommendations
open since 2005, and analyzed 26 of these as case studies. Of the 26 case studies,
12 involved rulemakings and the other 14 involved studies and other nonrulemaking activities. The case studies included: mandates and recommendations
issued and resolved after January 1, 2011, through rulemaking or non-rulemaking
activities. We also reviewed PHMSAs processes for working with other OAs on
hazmat safety. We interviewed staff from the Secretary of Transportations Office
of General Counsel, PHMSA, NTSB, GAO, relevant OAs, and two trade
associations. See exhibit A for a full description of our scope and methodology,
including the selection criteria for the case studies of mandates and
recommendations. See exhibit B for a list of the entities we visited or contacted.

RESULTS IN BRIEF
Since 2005, PHMSA has implemented 173or nearly two-thirdsof its
263 mandates and recommendations but missed many deadlines. Twenty of
PHMSAs 81 mandates (25 percent) remain unimplemented, including 8 pipeline
safety rulemaking mandates from the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011. Sixty of NTSBs 118 recommendations (51 percent)
remain open, including one to revise the threshold for spill response plans for
trains carrying highly flammable oil. Ten of GAOs and OIGs
64 recommendations (16 percent) remain open. Despite progress in addressing
mandates and recommendations, PHMSA missed about 75 percent of its mandated
deadlines and 85 percent of the deadlines that DOT policy requires OAs to set for
notices of proposed rulemaking and final rules.
PHMSA has not established agency-wide processes for implementing mandates
and recommendations, or provided guidance to the programs officesthe Office
on Pipeline Safety (OPS) and the Office on Hazardous Materials Safety
(OHMS)on implementing mandates and recommendations. Under the DOT
2

Public Law 112-90 (2012).

Order on PHMSAs organization, the Administrator sets policies and establishes


processes for the Agency and its program offices. However, PHMSA has not
established policies or processes on rulemaking or implementing mandates and
recommendations that provide guidance to the program offices, the Chief Counsel,
and the Chief Safety Officer (CSO) on how to fulfill their responsibilities for
safety regulations under the DOT Order. Furthermore, PHMSA has not always
followed project management requirements for implementing mandates and
recommendations that require rulemakings or those that call for non-rulemaking
activities, such as advisory bulletins and studies. PHMSA has also not provided
adequate oversight of program offices efforts to implement mandates and
recommendations. This lack of sufficient processes, project management, and
oversight has impeded the Agencys ability to meet deadlines. PHMSA has
recognized this issue, has recently identified many areas for improvement related
to rulemakings, and is currently developing plans to address them through
organizational changes. However, it is too soon to determine whether these plans,
once finalized, will adequately address the Agencys ability to meet mandates and
recommendations in full and on time.
PHMSA has not adequately coordinated on rulemaking and international standards
development with the three other OAsthe Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and the
Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)involved with the transportation of
hazmat. Under the DOT Order on PHMSAs organization, PHMSA must
coordinate with these other OAs on hazmat policy, but the Agency has not
established agreements regarding how they will coordinate. In addition, PHMSA
has not developed policy or guidance on how to respond to safety concerns from
FAA, FMCSA, and FRA. As a result, disputes have arisen between PHMSA and
these OAs that have delayed PHMSAs rulemaking activities.
We are making recommendations to PHMSA to improve its implementation of
mandates and recommendations and coordination with the other OAs.

BACKGROUND
The PHMSA Administrator is responsible for setting policies, establishing
processes, and overseeing all elements of the Agency, including the creation of
Federal safety regulations through rulemaking. OPS and OHMS each have a
Standards and Rulemaking Division responsible for working with other program
office staff, the Office of Chief Counsel, and PHMSAs CSO to plan, develop, and
maintain Federal safety regulations. In addition to implementing its own safety
initiatives, each program office responds to congressional mandates and
recommendations from NTSB, GAO, and OIG with either rulemaking or nonrulemaking activities. OHMS must also address safety issues raised by other OAs

regarding the transportation of hazmat. The program offices work independently


to address issues related to their respective safety programs. The offices have
separate authorizations and appropriations, as well as their own staff and Associate
Administrator who directs overall activity and reports to the PHMSA
Administrator.
PHMSA initiates a rulemaking based on one of several factors, including Agency
initiatives, recommendations from other agencies and external groups, and in
response to mandates. Each program office also has a processknown as a
regulatory change support paperthat it uses to evaluate proposed changes to
existing regulations. The process requires justifications and preliminary costbenefit analyses for proposed changes. The Agency also satisfies some
recommendations and mandates through non-rulemaking activities. For example,
Congress may require PHMSA to conduct a study or verify that it has a certain
number of enforcement personnel.
To initiate the rulemaking process, PHMSA prepares a notice of proposed
rulemaking (NPRM). For significant rules, 3 PHMSA conducts a regulatory impact
analysis estimating the proposed regulations costs and benefits. DOTs Office of
the Secretary (OST) and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) must
approve the NPRM and regulatory impact analysis. The Agencys Administrator
approves rules not designated as significant. 4 Approved NPRMs are published in
the Federal Register for public comment. After the comment period, PHMSA
prepares a final rule that goes through the same approval process and is published
in the Federal Register. See exhibit C for a flow chart depicting the rulemaking
process.
In the past, both OIG and GAO have assessed PHMSAs addressing mandates and
recommendations. See exhibit D for more information.

3
Under Executive Order 12866, a significant regulatory action is any regulatory action that is likely to result in a rule
that may have an annual economic effect of at least $100 million or raises novel legal or policy issues based on legal
mandates, the Presidents priorities, or this Executive Order. OMB determines the designation of significant
throughout the rulemaking process; therefore, a rule that is significant at the NPRM stage may be non-significant at the
final rule stage.
4
Under 49 U.S.C. 60115(c), the Secretary, as delegated to PHMSA, is required to provide proposed pipeline
standards to its technical safety standards committees. The law requires the Secretary, as delegated to PHMSA, to allow
the committees 90 days to review and recommend any actions before the Agency finalizes new standards.

PHMSA HAS MADE PROGRESS WITH IMPLEMENTING


MANDATES AND RECOMMENDATIONS, BUT HAS MISSED
DEADLINES
Since 2005, PHMSA has implemented the majority of its mandates and
recommendations but missed many deadlines. The Agency has closed 173 of
263 mandates and recommendations issued or open since 2005, but 90 remain
open, including 20 mandates (see table 1).

Table 1. Current Status of 263 Mandates and Recommendations


Issued or Open Since 2005
Related to
Pipelines

Total

Related to
Hazardous Materials

Open

Closed

Total

Open

Closed

Total

Open

Closed

Total

Congressional Mandates

20

61

81

44

53

11

17

28

OIG Recommendations

49

52

27

29

22

23

GAO Recommendations

12

NTSB Recommendations

60

58

118

38

26

64

22

32

54

Total

90

173

263

55

100

155

35

73

108

Source: OIG analysis

The nine open pipeline safety mandates are from the Pipeline Safety, Regulatory
Certainty, and Job Creation Act of 2011, and eight of the nine open mandates
require rulemaking. Forty-one of the 155 mandates and recommendations
(26 percent) on pipeline safety require rulemakings, and 27 (17 percent) require
studies. For example, in its evaluation of pipeline accidents in which operator
response time was a factor, NTSB recommended that PHMSA require operators of
hazardous liquid pipelines to improve pipeline monitoring. PHMSA addressed this
recommendation through a rulemaking. In response to a fatal liquid propane
explosion in 2007, NTSB recommended that PHMSA conduct a study to identify
actions that pipeline operators can implement to eliminate seam failures in certain
pipes manufactured prior to 1970.
The eleven open hazmat safety mandates are from three different acts. Three of the
eleven open mandates come from the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy For Users of 2005. 5 Seven of the eleven
open mandates come from the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act
5

Public Law 109-59 (2005).

of 2012 (MAP-21). 6 The remaining open mandate comes from the Consolidated
and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015. 7
One of the eleven open mandates requires a rulemaking. For hazmat safety, 39 of
the 108 mandates and recommendations (36 percent) require rulemakings, and
16 (15 percent) require studies. For example, in response to a 2013 derailment of
rail tank cars carrying crude oil from North Dakota, which resulted in the release
of 1.6 million gallons of crude oil that ignited and killed 47 people in LacMgantic, Canada, NTSB recommended that PHMSA require shippers to
sufficiently test and document the physical and chemical characteristics of hazmat.
PHMSA addressed this recommendation through a rulemaking. In response to one
MAP-21 mandate, PHMSA conducted a study and assessment to improve the
collection, analysis, reporting, and use of data related to incidents involving the
transportation of hazmat. See exhibit E for a list of open mandates and OIG, GAO,
and NTSB recommendations.
While PHMSA has implemented the majority of its mandates and
recommendations, it has missed many of its deadlines. Of the 81 mandates,
62 included implementation deadlines, but PHMSA missed the deadlines for 45 of
these (about 73 percent). All 182 recommendations included response deadlines,
but PHMSA missed deadlines for 128 of these (about 70 percent). See table 2 for
details.

6
7

Public Law 112-141 (2012).


Public Law 113-235 (2014).

Table 2. Missed Deadlines8 for Mandates and Recommendations


Open in or Issued Since 2005
Related to
Pipelines

Total
Issued

With
Missed
deadlines deadlines Issued

Related to
Hazardous Materials

With
Missed
deadlines deadlines*

Issued

With
Missed
deadlines deadlines

Congressional Mandates

81

62

45

53

41

26

28

21

19

OIG Recommendations

52

52

29

29

23

23

GAO Recommendations

12

12

10

NTSB Recommendations

118

118

115

64

64

61

54

54

54

Total

263

244

173

155

143

97

108

101

76

* Deadlines for OIG, GAO, and NTSB recommendations are for PHMSAs initial response to each
recommendation.
Source: OIG analysis

OIG, GAO and NTSB each have statutory and other requirements on the time in
which agencies respond to their recommendations. OIG requires DOTs OAs to
respond within 60 days with either agreement or disagreement with findings and
recommendations and estimated target dates. 9 Federal statute requires that
agencies respond to Congress concerning GAOs 10 recommendations within
60 days with actions and proposed timelines, and to NTSB 11 within 90 days with
either agreement or disagreement with the recommendations and a proposed
timetable.
Forty-one of the 53 total pipeline mandates contained deadlines. The Agency met
14 (34 percent) and missed 26 (63 percent) of these; the remaining deadline has
not yet passed. Six of the 41 deadlines are for mandates that remain open,
including one from 2012 that calls for PHMSA to issue regulations within 2 years
to require the use of automatic or remote-controlled shut-off valves on new
transmission pipelines. This mandate followed the explosion in San Bruno, CA, in
which the lack of automatic shut-off valves contributed to the severity of the
explosion that killed eight people.

8
PHMSA missed some deadlines by a day and others by years. The range of time in which PHMSA missed deadlines
for pipeline-related mandates was 33 to 3,136 days; for responses to NTSB, 1 to 613 days; and for responses to GAO,
30 to 59 days. For hazardous materials, the range of time in which PHMSA missed mandated deadlines was 12 to 1665
days; and responses to NTSB, 15 to 345 days. PHMSA never responded to a 2013 GAO report on hazmat
transportation. This report contains all three of GAOs recommendations that remain open.
9
DOT Order 8000.1C, Office of Inspector General Audit and Investigation Report Findings, Recommendations, and
Follow Up Action, July 1989.
10
31 U.S.C. 720.
11
49 U.S.C. 1135.

Twenty-one of the 28 hazmat mandates contained deadlines, and PHMSA met


2 (10 percent) and missed 19 (90 percent). Six of these deadlines are for mandates
that remain open, including one from 2012 calling for the Agency submit to
Congress within 2 years a report on the results of a pilot program to test a hazmat
communications system meant to improve communications among emergency
responders in accidents involving hazmat.
PHMSA also has not met its internal deadlines for rulemakings. DOT requires
OAs to set internal deadlines for publishing NPRMs and final rules, 12 and record
them in the Departments Rulemaking Management System (RMS). However, as
seen in figures 1 and 2, since 2005, PHMSA has missed 85 percent of these
internal deadlines, both for significant and non-significant rulemakings. For
example, in response to a 2001 NTSB recommendation to develop inspection
criteria related to pressure relief devices on rail tank cars, RMS shows that
PHMSAs internal deadline to issue the non-significant final rule was April 2012,
but PHMSA did not publish the final rule until June 2012.

Figure 1. Timeliness of Mandated or Recommended Pipeline


Rulemaking Activities, 2005-2016

Source: OIG analysis of RMS data

12

DOT Order 2100.5, Policies and Procedures for Simplification, Analysis, and Review of Regulations, May 1980.

Figure 2. Timeliness of Mandated or Recommended Hazmat


Rulemaking Activities,* 2005-2016

* PHMSA withdrew two hazmat rulemakings within the scope of this audit, and we did not include
those in this analysis.
Source: OIG analysis of RMS data

Because the Agency receives congressional mandates on an irregular basis, we


could not determine whether PHMSA improved the time it takes to respond to
mandates over time. In the case of pipeline safety mandates, PHMSA received 1 in
2005, 19 in 2006, 1 in 2007, none from 2008 through 2011, 32 in 2012, and none
from 2013 through 2015. For hazmat safety mandates, PHMSA received 9 in
2005, none in 2006, 2 in 2007, none from 2008 through 2011, 16 in 2012, none in
2013, 1 in 2014, and none in 2015. PHMSA also receives GAO and OIG
recommendations on an irregular basis.
PHMSA receives pipeline safety related recommendations from NTSB on a more
regular basis. Between 2005 and 2015, the Agency closed a low number of
pipeline-related NTSB recommendations each year compared to the total number
of open recommendationsincluding new recommendations received that year
and open recommendations carried over from prior years (see figure 3). For
example, in 2015, PHMSA had a total of 38 open recommendations (21 new and
17 carried over), but closed only 9 recommendations. On average, the Agency
closed 2.4 NTSB recommendations on pipeline safety per year between 2005 and

10

2015, and received an average of 5.5 new recommendations during the same
period. In the last 5 years, PHMSA closed an average of 3.8 pipeline safety NTSB
recommendations per year and received an average of 9.8.

Figure 3. Progress Addressing NTSB Recommendations on


Pipeline Safety,* 2005-2015

Number of Recommendations

40
35

New recommendations received

30

Open recommendations (prior years)

25

Recommendations closed

20
15
10
5
0
-5
-10

2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

* Recommendations received does not include recommendations that were issued and closed
in the same year. Recommendations issued and closed in the same year are included in the total
for recommendations closed.
Source: OIG analysis

We found a similar trend with NTSBs recommendations on hazmat safety.


Between 2005 and 2015, PHMSA closed a low number of hazmat-related
recommendations each year compared to the number of open recommendations
(see figure 4). For example, in 2015, PHMSA had a total of 26 open
recommendations (4 new and 22 carried over), but the Agency closed only
1 recommendation. On average, the Agency closed 2.5 NTSB recommendations
on hazmat safety per year between 2005 and 2015, and received an average of
3.7 new recommendations during the same period. In the last 5 years, PHMSA
closed an average of 4.2 hazmat NTSB recommendations per year and received an
average of 5.0.

11

Figure 4. Progress Addressing NTSB Recommendations on


Hazmat Safety,* 2005-2015
35

Number of Recommendations

30
25
20
15
10
5
0
-5
-10
-15

New recommendations received


Open recommendations (prior years)
Recommendations closed
2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

* Recommendations received does not include recommendations that were issued and closed
in the same year. Recommendations issued and closed in the same year are included in the total
for recommendations closed.
Source: OIG analysis

PHMSAS LACK OF SUFFICIENT PROCESSES, GUIDANCE, AND


OVERSIGHT FOR IMPLEMENTING MANDATES AND
RECOMMENDATIONS HAS IMPEDED TIMELINESS
PHMSA has not developed sufficient agency-wide processes or provided guidance
to the program offices on implementing mandates and recommendations.
Specifically, PHMSA lacks implementation processes, does not always follow
project management requirements, and does not adequately oversee
implementation activities. These factors have impeded the Agencys timeliness in
implementing mandates and recommendations. To its credit, PHMSA has recently
identified many shortcomings related to rulemakings, and is currently developing
plans to address them through organizational changes. However, it is too soon to
determine the extent to which these plans will resolve those shortcomings.
PHMSA Lacks Processes for Rulemakings and Other Mandate and
Recommendation Implementation Activities
PHMSA has not developed agency-wide policies or processes on how to
promulgate rulemakings and other activities required to implement mandates and

12

recommendations. DOTs Order 13 on PHMSAs organization establishes


organizational responsibilities for the Administrator, OPS, OHMS, and the offices
of the Chief Counsel and CSO. The Order requires:
The Administrator to set policies, establish processes, and oversee all elements
of the Agency;
OPS and OHMS to plan and develop Federal safety regulations;
The Chief Counsel to work with the program offices in the planning,
development, and review of regulations; and
The CSO to review the quality of regulatory impact analyses and ensure timely
actions to address recommendations from NTSB, GAO, and OIG.
However, because PHMSA has not established agency-wide policies or processes
on rulemaking or implementing mandates and recommendations, the Agency has
not provided guidance to OPS, OHMS, the Chief Counsel, or the CSO on how to
fulfill their responsibilities under the DOT Order. In the absence of guidance from
PHMSA, the program offices have developed incomplete procedures.
For example, OPS and OHMSs procedures on rulemaking 14 do not sufficiently
incorporate the roles for the Office of Chief Counsel and the CSO required by the
Order. According to officials in the Offices of the Chief Counsel and the CSO,
their staffs involvement is at the discretion of program officers. The program
offices procedures do not require Chief Counsel staff to participate in the
planning and development of regulations, but the program offices must send
regulations to Chief Counsel staff for review and agreement before the regulations
go to the Administrator for approval. Program offices rulemaking procedures do
not call for the CSOs staff to provide the quality assurance reviews of regulatory
analyses that the DOT Order requires. According to CSO staff, even when they
provide input on how to improve the quality of regulatory analyses, the program
staff do not always incorporate their input.
This lack of guidance and adequate procedures has impeded PHMSAs ability to
meet internal deadlines for mandates and recommendations. For example, in 2011,
the Agency received an NTSB recommendation to eliminate from a regulation a
grandfather clause that exempts operators from testing gas transmission
13

DOT Order 1100.74A, Department of Transportation Organization Manual: Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration, September 2010. This Order took direct authority over OPS and OHMS away from the Chief Safety
Officer and gave it to the Administrator and Deputy Administrator.
14
Both OHMS and OPS have standard operating procedures on the development of regulations. OHMS first authorized
its procedures in June 2012 and revised them in March 2015. OPS first authorized its procedures in May 2015.

13

pipelines installed before 1970. To address this recommendation, in 2016,


PHMSA published an NPRM that eliminated the clause. Records show that OPS
staff spent almost 13 months drafting a 396-page NPRM before inviting the Chief
Counsels office to comment on it in February 2013. Chief Counsel staff reviewed
the document, sent multiple sets of comments, met with program staff several
times to discuss comments, and then concurred with the NPRM in December
2013, about 11 months after the internal deadline for completing the draft
document. The NPRM was ultimately published in April 2016, more than
2.5 years after its internal deadline. Chief Counsel staff stated that the process
would have been faster for them if they had been involved in the drafting.
PHMSA Did Not Always Follow Project Management Requirements in
Implementing Rulemaking Mandates and Recommendations
In implementing rulemaking mandates and recommendations, program offices did
not always: develop plans; establish priorities; identify team member roles and
responsibilities; create timetables; or justify and document delays as required by
Federal and DOT standards and policies. This was due, in part, to a lack of
guidance from PHMSA. As a result, PHMSA delayed completion of several
rulemakings in our case studies.
Several Federal and DOT standards and policies apply to rulemaking. 15 Executive
Order 12866, 16 Regulatory Planning and Review, directs Federal agencies to
consider the degree and nature of risks posed by various substances or activities
within their jurisdictions in setting regulatory priorities. DOTs manual 17 on its
RMSthe Departments recordkeeping system for the rulemaking process
requires the OAs to provide various information, including estimated and actual
milestones and reasons for delays in each rulemaking. OPS and OHMS addressed
these standards in their rulemaking procedures issued in 2015 and 2012,
respectively, but we found that staff did not always follow these procedures.
To assess how OHMS and OPS followed project management requirements for
rulemaking activities, we reviewed 12 case studies. See table 3 for the results.

15

Furthermore, the Internal Control Standards state that plans should be part of an entitys internal control system. The
Standards also direct Federal managers to determine the roles needed to fulfill assigned responsibilities. DOT policy on
records management states that records provide evidence of departmental activities and enable oversight by Congress
and authorized agencies. The Order also directs Administrators to promote adequate documentation by defining
recordkeeping requirements.
16
Executive Order 12866, October 1993.
17
DOT Rulemaking Management System User Manual, Version 2.0.

14

Table 3. PHMSAs Use of Project Management Requirements for


12 Mandates and Recommendations Involving Rulemakings
Yes

No

Partial

Not Applicable

Total

Developed Plans

12

Established Priorities

12

Identified Team Members Roles


and Responsibilities

Created Timetables

12

Justified or Documented Delays

12

12

Source: OIG analysis

For example:
A lack of planning and assignment of roles and responsibilities may have
contributed to delayed implementation of a 2004 NTSB recommendation to
OPS. 18 NTSB recommended removing an exemption that permitted the use of
pipes that could be damaged when not transported to pipeline sites according to
industry standards. OPS intended to address the recommendation in a 2007
rulemaking and then in a 2011 rulemaking. In 2015over 2 years after its
scheduled dateit issued a final rule that addressed the recommendation. OPS
staff could not provide evidence of planned action steps with assigned persons
and due dates for this rulemaking; the Office did not document team members
roles and responsibilities. Furthermore, OST returned the final rule to OPS four
times over the course of almost a year, citing concerns with quality of the
regulatory impact analysis each time. In total, OPS needed 5 months to respond
to OSTs comments but did not justify and document its reasons for delays.
A lack of planning, prioritization, assignment of roles and responsibilities, and
timetables may have delayed implementation of a 1992 NTSB
recommendation to OHMS. NTSB recommended periodic testing and
inspections of rail tank cars to help ensure the detection of cracks in the cars.
OHMS did not create a plan or assign a priority level to the recommendation.
Although OHMS assigned a team lead to address the recommendation, it did
not communicate the responsibility clearly and the team lead was not aware of
the designation. In addition, OHMS did not establish internal deadlines or
document justifications for delays in the process. For example, the team lead
stated that delays occurred because OHMS, in coordination with FRA,
developed a different approach than the one recommended by NTSB due to rail
18

In 2004, OPS and OHMS made up PHMSAs predecessor, the Research and Special Programs Administration.

15

industry concerns, but did not document this delay. OHMS promulgated a rule
addressing the recommendation, which NTSB closed in 2013over 20 years
after issuing it.
PHMSA Offices Did Not Always Follow Project Management
Requirements in Implementing Non-Rulemaking Mandates and
Recommendations
In implementing non-rulemaking mandates and recommendations, program offices
rarely: developed plans; established priorities; identified team member roles and
responsibilities; created timetables; or justified and documented delays. This was
due, in part, to a lack of guidance from PHMSA. As a result, PHMSA delayed
completion of several non-rulemaking activities, such as studies, in our case
studies.
To assess OHMS and OPSs project management for non-rulemaking activities,
we reviewed 14 case studies. See table 4 for the results.

Table 4. PHMSAs Use of Project Management Requirements for


14 Non-Rulemaking Mandates and Recommendations
Yes

No

Partially

Not Applicable

Total

Developed Plans

11

14

Established Priorities

11

14

Identified Team Members Roles


and Responsibilities

13

Created Timetables

10

14

Justified or Documented Delays

14

14

Source: OIG analysis

For example:
A lack of priorities and timetables may have led to slow implementation of a
2012 mandate requiring OPS to update a nation-wide pipeline mapping system.
The maps must include information on locations such as ecologically sensitive
and drinking water areas, but OPS lacks the necessary data to create the maps.
By 2015, OPS had determined that it could purchase data on ecologically
sensitive areas for $417,000 a year. The drinking water data were not available
for purchase and OPS would have to provide over $1 million every 2 years for
services that identify data that meet regulatory requirements. PHMSA did not
assign this mandate a deadline, and OPS management did not decide until 2016
to purchase the data.

16

A lack of planning, prioritization, assignment of roles and responsibilities, and


documentation may have delayed implementation of a 2012 mandate requiring
OHMS to report on the feasibility and effectiveness of using advanced
communications methods to convey hazard information among all parties
involved in hazmat incidents, including emergency responders and law
enforcement personnel. To address the mandate, OHMS contracted with
DOTs Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe) to conduct
required pilot projects. OHMS staff informed us that Volpe manages the
projects and OHMS staff do not have any documents related to planning,
prioritization, roles and responsibilities, or delays. Furthermore, the team lead
stated that he spoke regularly with Volpe staff but had not received or
reviewed any quarterly performance reports from them.
This mandate has exceeded its deadline by over 1.5 years. OHMS stated that
OMB took 9 months to approve an information collection request for the pilot
projects. OMBs records show that OHMS submitted the request in December
2013, and OMB approved it in September 2014. However, May 2014 emails
between PHMSA and OMB indicate that OMB had concerns about the request,
including selection of the pilot test population, evaluation of success, and
identification of procedures for the pilot studies. OHMS had to revise its
proposal to address these concerns, and provided OMB the revised version in
July 2014.
PHMSA Does Not Adequately Oversee Implementation of Mandates
and Recommendations
PHMSA has not established processes for its oversight of the program offices
implementation of mandates and recommendations. Though Agency officials
stated that implementation is a top priority, they have not ensured timely
implementation.
The Deputy Secretary of Transportation regularly reviews written reports on
PHMSAs rulemakings in progress, open NTSB recommendations, and pending
reports to Congress. But PHMSA has not created internal reporting processes to
track the progress of the Agencys implementation of mandates and
recommendations. According to PHMSA officials, program office officials
conduct verbal briefings for the Administrator but do not document the briefings.
PHMSA also does not have a process for regular updates of a DOT database
OSTs Legislative Implementation Plan systemthat contains all mandates from
major authorizing legislation and their implementation status. We found some
PHMSA-related information in the database to be inaccurate. For example, a

17

report to Congress that PHMSA must produce under the Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users 19 showed
inaccurate status information for four of the acts seven mandates. Chief Counsel
staff stated that they update the database only when directed to do so, not as part
of an on-going process. Staff stated further that they do not verify the information
on mandate status that they receive from the program offices.
PHMSA also has no agency-wide process to ensure that it addresses NTSB, GAO,
and OIG recommendations in a timely manner. There is no agency-wide tracking
of progress on recommendations because PHMSA has delegated these
responsibilities to the program offices. As a result, since 2005, PHMSA has
missed deadlines for responding to 115 of 118 NTSB recommendations and 10 of
12 GAO recommendations, as shown in table 2. PHMSA officials acknowledged,
for example, that the Agency had failed to send the required responses to three
GAO recommendations on hazmat safety issued in 2013. As of October 2015,
PHMSA had not sent a response to those recommendations.
PHMSA is Working To Address Shortcomings in Its Rulemaking
Activities
In January 2016, PHMSA completed a comprehensive assessment of its
rulemaking model, capabilities and processes, and compared them to those of high
performing rulemaking organizations. PHMSA found that it had opportunities to
improve its model and processes and significant gaps 20 in its rulemaking
capabilities. The assessment also made high level recommendations, including
clarifying and communicating roles and responsibilities in an agency-wide
rulemaking model and development of an agency-wide standard operating
procedures for rulemakings.
To address these recommendations, PHMSA has drafted a proposal for revising its
organizational structure that includes creation of an Executive Director position.
The Executive Director would also serve as the CSO and have direct authority
over OPS and OHMS. In addition, the Executive Director would have authority
over three new offices including an office of planning and analytics that could
improve planning and project management, data, and rulemaking capabilities.
PHMSA has also developed draft agency-wide prioritization criteria for its
regulatory agenda. However, it is too soon to determine the extent to which these
plans once finalized will resolve the significant shortcomings PHMSA identified.

19
20

Public Law 109-59 (2005).


PHMSA Organizational Assessment, Rulemaking Diagnostic, January 2016.

18

PHMSA LACKS ADEQUATE COORDINATION AND POLICIES FOR


ADDRESSING FAA, FMCSA, AND FRAS HAZMAT CONCERNS
PHMSA has not adequately coordinated with FAA, FMCSA, or FRA on how to
address the OAs safety concerns regarding hazmat in the rulemaking and
international standards development processes. In addition, PHMSA has not
established internal policies and procedures for how to coordinate with the OAs to
respond to disputes over rulemaking. As a result, disputes between PHMSA and
FAA, FMCSA, and FRA have delayed rulemaking activities.
PHMSA Has Not Adequately Coordinated with the Other OAs on
Rulemaking and International Standards
PHMSA has not adequately coordinated with FAA, FMCSA, or FRA on their
safety concerns regarding hazmat in the rulemaking and international standards
development processes. Under the DOT Order on PHMSAs organization,
PHMSA must coordinate with these other OAs on hazmat policy.
PHMSA and the OAs have not communicated clearly on how to coordinate on
updates of existing regulations. For example, in early 2013, in response to separate
requests from FAA and FRA to change hazmat regulations, PHMSA officials
directed the two OAs to follow the regulatory change support paper process, but
did not similarly direct FMCSA. During this audit, FMCSA officials informed us
that they believed that the regulatory change support paper process was internal to
PHMSA. When they had safety concerns about cargo tank facility regulations,
they did not submit a regulatory change support paper to PHMSA. PHMSAs
coordinator for the regulatory change support paper process stated he never
communicated with FMCSA officials to explain the process or encourage them to
use it.
PHMSA has received criticism from the other OAs on the regulatory change
support paper process but not addressed it. For example, FAA officials stated to us
that they were dissatisfied with elements of the process, such as the level of
economic analysis required and the lack of timeframes for PHMSAs responses.
PHMSA officials acknowledged that they were aware of FAAs dissatisfaction
with the process and that the process has weaknesses. For example, PHMSAs
process coordinator stated that he provides feedback to the OAs on their draft
papers that can be overwhelming and sometimes causes the OAs to forgo the
process. The coordinator also said PHMSA had no deadlines for responding to
regulatory change support papers from the OAs.
PHMSA has also not adequately coordinated with FAA on the development of
proposals for international negotiations on standards for safe international
transport of hazmat by air. For example, FAA officials stated that PHMSA did not

19

communicate with FAA on its August 2015 letter to a private individual in


response to a request for interpretation of current regulations on the classification
of certain lithium ion batteries. 21 According to FAA officials, PHMSAs
interpretation in its response to the letter was important and the lack of
communication resulted in confusion and disagreement about the issue between
the two OAs during an international meeting. According to PHMSA officials,
FAA has submitted positions on international standards to the International Civil
Aviation Organization (ICAO)such as weight restrictions for lithium ion
batterieswithout first getting PHMSAs concurrence. PHMSA officials further
stated that the poor coordination between PHMSA and FAA on international
safety standards has resulted in the United States missing opportunities to
strengthen overall hazmat standards.
This inadequate coordination has occurred in part because PHMSA lacks
agreement with FAA, FMCSA, and FRA on rulemaking coordination and
negotiations on standards for international hazmat transportation by air. 22 PHMSA
officials stated that it has agreements on enforcement but not on rulemaking
because while it shares legal authority with the other OAs for enforcing hazmat
laws and regulations, PHMSA alone has the legal authority to promulgate hazmat
regulations. These Officials further stated that PHMSA staff coordinate with OA
staff on the development of regulations and international standards using common
sense, and thus agreements are unnecessary.
PHMSA Has Not Developed Policy or Guidance on How To Respond
to the OAs Safety Concerns
PHMSA does not have a policy on how to respond to the other OAs safety
concerns, and consequently has not provided guidance to OHMS on how to
respond. The Internal Control Standards direct Federal managers to implement
controls through policies. PHMSA officials explained that ongoing discussion
with the OAs allows PHMSA to quickly address their safety concerns, making
unnecessary a policy on how to address the concerns. Yet, PHMSA officials also
acknowledged that poor coordination has on occasion resulted in disputes with
OAs that have negatively impacted the timeliness of rulemaking.

21

In the letter, the individual requested PHMSAs interpretation of the size limit for lithium batteries in
49 C.F.R. 173.185(c)(1)(i) and clarification of why he and another person had received different information in
response to this inquiry.
22
The Agency has agreements with FAA, FMCSA, and FRA on enforcement of hazardous materials regulations and
evaluation of special permits and approvals. The Agencies signed the special permit and approval agreement as of
February 2014, after a 2010 OIG report on the special permits and approvals program that stated that deficiencies
existed in PHMSAs coordination with the OAs. According to the Director of PHMSAs Approvals and Permits
Division, developing the special permits agreement was useful because it forced staff to establish reasonable
expectations and the basis for productive working relationships.

20

PHMSA, FAA, FMCSA, FRA, and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation
have in place a dispute resolution process that requires referral of disputes to
senior management. However, PHMSA and the other OAs have not clearly
defined the circumstances under which staff should initiate this process, and could
not provide an example of its use, despite multiple disputes over rulemaking.
PHMSA officials stated they prefer to resolve disputes informally rather than use
the resolution process.
As a result of the lack of policy, PHMSA has taken a significant amount of time to
resolve disputes. For example, in April 2013, FAA sent a memorandum to
PHMSA requesting that the Agency clarify its position on a February 2013
emergency addendum revising a special provision of ICAOs standards on
transport of lithium batteries by air. 23 According to FAA officials, they never
received a response from PHMSA. In March 2015, FAA submitted another memo
and a regulatory change support paper to PHMSA requesting that the Agency
revise its regulations to align with the 2013 emergency addendum. In the
transmittal email to OHMS, FAA officials cited their concern over this serious
safety issue that puts us at odds with the international community... According to
OHMSs records, as of January 2016, PHMSA had accepted FAAs proposal and
was drafting the notice of proposed rulemaking.
In another instance, FAA challenged the adoption of several special permits in a
final rule that was required by Congress. PHMSA officials stated that the OAs
including FAAwere part of its rulemaking team from the early stages of
developing the NPRM. In August 2015about a month before the rules legal
deadline of October 1, 2015PHMSA sent the draft final rule to FAA for
concurrence. However, FAA did not concur, and in a memorandum to PHMSA,
identified several special permits incorporated into the NPRM that it objected to.
For example, one special permit that FAA objected to reclassified detonating cords
for explosives in a way that would allow explosive materials to be transported on
cargo aircraft. In late October 2015, PHMSAs rulemaking staff requested that
PHMSAs experts on explosives classification meet with FAA to address its
concerns over these special permits. Yet, the meeting did not take place for over 2
months, and PHMSA officials could not explain the significant time lag.
Ultimately, PHMSA and FAA agreed to remove the special permit for detonating
cords that FAA objected to, and PHMSA published the final rule in January 2016.
PHMSAs inability to quickly resolve this dispute with FAA delayed the final
rules publication by over 3 months and caused the Agency to miss the rules legal
deadline.
23

ICAO Document 9284-AN/905, Addendum No. 1 to the 2013-2014 Edition of the Technical Instructions for the Safe
Transport of Dangerous Goods by Air, February 2013. This addendum revised special provision A51, which covers
transporting packages of lithium ion aircraft batteries up to 100 kilograms.

21

CONCLUSION
Mandates and recommendations regarding pipeline and hazmat materials
transportation safety from Congress, NTSB, GAO, and OIG are directed at
improving safety and protecting the public. Implementing the mandates and
recommendations requires timely action by PHMSA in coordination with other
OAs also charged with protecting the public. PHMSAs slow progress and lack of
coordination over the past 10 years has delayed the protections those mandates and
recommendations are intended to provide. PHMSA has recently made efforts to
close old NTSB recommendations and improve its rulemaking process, but a lack
of sustained leadership attention to development of policies and oversight of
implementation has made it difficult for the Agency to accomplish its safety
mission.

RECOMMENDATIONS
We recommend that the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrator:
1. Develop and issue an agency-wide policy for implementing mandates and
recommendations. The policy should, at a minimum, establish:
a. Specific roles, responsibilities, and authorities of the Chief Counsel, Chief
Safety Officer, and the Associate Administrators for Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials Safety;
b. Requirements for developing a plan to address each mandate and
recommendation;
c. Requirements for assigning responsibilities to each team member, in
particular to team leads, for carrying out this policy;
d. Requirements for retaining documentation in accordance with the
Department of Transportation records management policy; and
e. Management controls including oversight processes for the implementation
of mandates and recommendations.
2. Develop and implement a rulemaking prioritization process that requires
assessment of risk.
3. Develop written agreements with the FAA, FMCSA, and FRA on appropriate
coordination for rulemaking and the international standards development

22

process. At a minimum, the agreements should cover roles and responsibilities,


communication protocols, and required documentation on decisions.
4. Provide guidance to OHMS on implementing its written agreements with other
Operating Administrations.
5. Develop and implement an internal policy on the dispute resolution process
that includes criteria and timeframes for when to use the process.

AGENCY COMMENTS AND OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL


RESPONSE
We provided PHMSA a copy of our report on August 25, 2016, and received its
response on September 26, 2016, which is included as an appendix to this report.
In its response, PHMSA concurred with recommendations 1, 2, 4, and 5 and
provided appropriate actions and completion dates. Accordingly, we consider
these recommendations resolved but open pending completion of the planned
actions.
PHMSA concurred with the intent of recommendation 3 but proposed a
standardized process for collaborating across DOT instead of developing and
implementing written agreements. While we are not opposed to an alternative
course of action, PHMSAs response is not clear on how it will ensure agreement
from FAA, FMCSA and FRA on this standardized process. Until PHMSA
provides additional details on its planned action, we consider recommendation 3
open and unresolved.

ACTIONS REQUIRED
We consider recommendations 1, 2, 4, and 5 resolved but open pending
completion of planned actions. In accordance with DOT Order 8000.1C, we
request that PHMSA provide us the additional clarification and information
requested above for recommendation 3 within 30 days of the date of this report
We appreciate the courtesies and cooperation of PHMSA representatives during
this audit. If you have any questions concerning this report, please call me at
(202) 366-5630, or Wendy Harris, Program Director, at (202) 366-2794.
#
cc: DOT Audit Liaison, M-1
PHMSA Audit Liaison, PH-3

23

EXHIBIT A. SCOPE AND METHODOLOGY


We conducted our work from May 2015 through August 2016 in accordance with
generally accepted Government auditing standards. Those standards require that
we plan and perform the audit to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide
a reasonable basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives.
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings
and conclusions based on our audit objectives.
To assess PHMSAs progress in addressing congressional mandates and
recommendations from NTSB, GAO, and OIG issued or open since 2005, we
reviewed the Rulemaking Management System, rulemaking documents, advisory
bulletins, congressional reports, and correspondence with NTSB and GAO. We
used this information to create a universal set of 263 mandates and
recommendations, including current status and deadlines set by PHMSA. After
confirming this universal data set with PHMSA, we determined PHMSAs
timeliness in responding to mandates and recommendations, timeliness in
conducting rulemaking activities, and progress addressing NTSB
recommendations. We also interviewed NTSB, GAO, and PHMSA management
and staff.
To assess PHMSAs process for implementing mandates and recommendations,
including any impediments to Agency action, we analyzed 26 case studies made
up of mandates and recommendations that were open within the longest or shortest
time frames. We excluded mandates and recommendations closed before January
1, 2011, and those that were not directly related to safety or the objectives of this
audit. To understand PHMSAs process for implementing the mandates and
recommendations in our case studies, we reviewed relevant PHMSA contracting
documents, rulemaking and advisory bulletin policies, electronic databases,
written status reports, briefing papers, regulatory support papers, Technical
Advisory Committee transcripts and SharePoint Website. We also interviewed
program staff that act as team leads for implementing the mandates and
recommendations.
To assess PHMSAs efforts to coordinate and address OAs safety concerns, we
reviewed the Agencys written agreements with other OAs and its policies and
procedures related to coordination with the OAs. We also reviewed PHMSAs
records related to coordination activities. We interviewed FAA, FMCSA, FRA,
and PHMSA management and staff and observed two meetings during which the
four OAs discussed coordination and safety issues.

Exhibit A. Scope and Methodology

24

EXHIBIT B. ENTITIES VISITED OR CONTACTED


PHMSA
Office of the Chief Safety Officer
Office of the Chief Counsel
Office of Pipeline Safety
o Standards and Rulemaking Division
o Engineering and Research Division
o Program Development Division
o Safety Data Systems and Analysis Division
Office of Hazardous Materials Safety
o Standards and Rulemaking Division
o Engineering and Research Division
o Program Development Division
o Approvals and Permits Division
Other Operating Administrations
Federal Aviation Administration, Office of Hazardous Materials Safety
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Hazardous Materials Division
Federal Railroad Administration, Hazardous Materials Division
Office of the Secretary of Transportation
Office of the General Counsel
Other Entities
Government Accountability Office
National Transportation Safety Board
American Short Line and Regional Railroad Association
National Association of State Fire Marshals

Exhibit B. Entities Visited or Contacted

25

EXHIBIT C. RULEMAKING PROCESS FLOW CHART

Exhibit C. Rulemaki ng Process Flow Chart

26

EXHIBIT D. PRIOR AUDITS AND EVALUATIONS ON PHMSAS


PROGRESS ADDRESSING MANDATES AND
RECOMMENDATIONS
Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General
Pipeline Safety Program: Research and Special Permits Administration, OIG
Report Number RT-2000-069, March 13, 2000. We found that PHMSAs
predecessor, the Research and Special Programs Administration (RSPA), had
21 open pipeline safety recommendations dating back to 1987. We
recommended that RSPA comply with DOTs order instructing the OA to
establish and transmit timetables to NTSB regarding the implementation of
recommendations.
The Department of Transportations Rulemaking Process, OIG Report Number
MH-2000-109, July 20, 2000. In response to congressional and departmental
concerns over DOTs not completing rulemaking actions in a timely manner,
we evaluated whether DOTs rulemaking process had improved since 1993.
We reported that RSPA had taken an average of 5.9 years to complete
significant rules compared to 1.6 years in 1993. We also reported that RSPA
had 10 open rulemakings ranging from 3.5 to 10.5 years past their statutory
deadlines.
Actions Taken and Needed in Implementing Mandates and Recommendations
Regarding Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety, OIG Report Number AV2006-003, October 20, 2005. We reported that PHMSA still needed to address
long-standing pipeline and hazmat mandates and NTSB recommendations. For
example, the Agency had 7 open mandates that were over 10 years old and
more open NTSB recommendations than any other OA, with 4
recommendations over 10 years old.
Government Accountability Office
Pipeline Safety: Progress Made, but Significant Requirements and
Recommendations Not Yet Complete, GAO-01-1075, September 28, 2001.
GAO reported that OPS had implemented 6 of 22 mandates that had been open
in May 2000 but had not yet fully implemented 11including 3 from 1992 or
earlier that could significantly improve pipeline safety. GAO classified the
other 5 mandates as closed for other reasons, such as Congresss revision of the
original mandate.

Exhibit D. Prior Audits and Evaluations of PHMSAs Progress Addressing


Mandates and Recommendations

27

EXHIBIT E. OUTSTANDING RECOMMENDATIONS AND MANDATES


TABLE 5. OUTSTANDING OIG RECOMMENDATIONS FROM 2005 TO 2015
Issue Date

Report Title and Number

Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

PI P E LI NE S AF ET Y
1

6/18/2012

Hazardous Liquid Pipeline


Operators Integrity
Management Programs
Need More Rigorous
PHMSA Oversight, AV2012-140

Update integrity management


(IM) requirements to mandate
baseline and recurring
assessments for non-line pipe
facilities.

Proposed new course of


action and new target action
date.
Briefed OIG on research (non
line pipe new technologies).

Conduct road-mapping at the


2016 R&D Forum and issue
a competitive solicitation
addressing integrity threats
to non-line pipe.

6/18/2012

Hazardous Liquid Pipeline


Operators Integrity
Management Programs
Need More Rigorous
PHMSA Oversight, AV2012-140

Create database of physical


characteristics, accidents, and
inspections, including
location, of pipelines to
identify and monitor those at
risk.

Published information
collection request (ICR):
Pipeline Safety: Request for
Revision of a Previously
Approved Information
Collection: National Pipeline
Mapping System Program.

Obtain OMB approval of


ICR and create database
of physical
characteristics, accidents,
and inspections,
including location, of
pipelines to identify and
monitor those at risk.

H AZ AR D O U S M AT E RI AL S S AF ET Y
3

7/17/2014

PHMSA Has Addressed


Most Weaknesses We
Identified in Its Special
Permit and Approval
Process,
MH-2014-064

Develop and implement a


planincluding milestones
and funding requirementsto
resolve company identifier
issue.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

Worked with Dunn and


Bradstreet to enhance
company identifier data.

Assess effectiveness of
Dunn and Bradstreets
information and determine
whether plan to resolve
company identifier issue is
required.

28

Table 6. Outstanding Mandates From Statutes Passed Between 2005 and 2015
Report Title and Number

Outstanding Mandate

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

PI P E LI NE S AF ET Y
1

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

Prescribe minimum safety standards for


transportation by pipeline of carbon dioxide in
gaseous state.

Reviewing comments on
CO2 report to better
understand possible effects
of regulatory scenarios
presented in report.

Review CO2 report


comments and prescribe
minimum safety standards
for transportation by pipeline
of carbon dioxide in
gaseous state.

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

If appropriate, issue regulations based on a


report to Congress about existing Federal and
State regulations for all gathering lines.

Published NPRM: Pipeline


Safety: Safety of Gas
Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Review NPRM with


appropriate technical
advisory committee.

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

2.7 years outstanding. If appropriate, issue


regulations requiring use of excess flow
valves or equivalent technology, where
economically, technically, and operationally
feasible on new or entirely replaced
distribution branch services, multi-family
facilities, and small commercial facilities.

Published NPRM:
Expanding the Use of
Excess Flow Valves in Gas
Distribution Systems to
Applications Other Than
Single-Family Residences.

Publish final rule.

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

Require tests to confirm material strength of


previously untested gas transmission
pipelines in high concentration areas (HCA).

Published NPRM: Pipeline


Safety: Safety of Gas
Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Review NPRM with


appropriate technical
advisory committee.

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

2.7 years outstanding. If appropriate, issue


regulations requiring use of automatic or
remote-controlled shut-off valves on
transmission pipelines constructed or entirely
replaced after rules date.

Sent NPRM to OST: Pipeline


Safety: Amendments to
Parts 192 and 195 to
Require Valve Installation
and Minimum Rupture
Detections Standards.

OST approve NPRM and


forward to OMB.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

29

Report Title and Number

Outstanding Mandate

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

If warranted by integrity management system


(IMS) study, issue final regulations expanding
IMS requirements beyond HCAs and remove
redundant class locations requirements for
gas transmission pipeline facilities; may not
issue during review period unless there is risk
to public safety.

Published NPRM: Pipeline


Safety: Safety of Gas
Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.
Sent Final Rule to OST:
Pipeline Safety: Safety of
On-Shore Hazardous Liquid
Pipelines.

Review NPRM with


appropriate technical
advisory committee.

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

Maintain map of designated HCAs (part of


national pipeline mapping system (NPMS)) in
which pipelines are required to meet IMP
regulations. Update the NPMS map biennially.

OPS is procuring drinking


water and ecological data.

Update NPMS with drinking


water and ecological data.

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

If appropriate, issue regulations requiring leak


detection on hazardous liquid pipelines and
establishing leak detection standards. May not
issue during review period unless there is a
risk to public safety.

Sent Final Rule to OST:


Pipeline Safety: Safety of
On-Shore Hazardous Liquid
Pipelines.
Sent NPRM to OST: Pipeline
Safety: Amendments to
Parts 192 and 195 to
Require Valve Installation
and Minimum Rupture
Detections Standards.

OST approve Final Rule and


forward to OMB.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

OST approve Final Rule and


forward to OMB.

OST approve NPRM and


forward to OMB: Pipeline
Safety: Pipeline Rupture
Detection and Mitigation for
Onshore Populated and
High Consequence Areas

30

Report Title and Number

Outstanding Mandate

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

Pipeline Safety,
Regulatory Certainty, and
Job Creation Act of 2011,
P.L. 112-90

3.2 years outstanding. Revise regulations to


(a) require telephonic reporting no later than 1
hour following confirmed discovery; (b)
review and revise procedures for operators
and National Response Center (NRC) to
notify emergency responders, including 911;
(c) require revising initial telephonic report
after 48 hours if practicable;(d) update initial
report on accident or incident instead of
generating new report.

Published NPRM: Operator


Qualification, Cost
Recovery, Accident and
Incident Notification, and
Other Pipeline Safety
Proposed Changes;
Technical Advisory
Committees approved
NPRM and rulemaking team
recommended to
management modifications
to current rule.

Publish final rule.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

31

Report Title and Number

Outstanding Mandate

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

H AZ AR D O U S M AT E RI AL S S AF ET Y
10

Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act:
A Legacy for Users, P.L.
109-59

Make grants for training instructors to train


hazmat employees; maintenance-of-way
employees and railroad signalmen shall
receive general awareness and familiarization
training and safety training pursuant to section
49 C.F.R. 172.704.

Addressed 49 C.F.R.
172.704.

Address mandate as written.

11

Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act:
A Legacy for Users, P.L.
109-59

Transmit to FMCSA hazardous material


registrant information obtained before, on, or
after the date of enactment under 49 U.S.C.
5108, with any DOT identification number for
each registrant

Unknown.

Unknown.

12

Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, Efficient
Transportation Equity Act:
A Legacy for Users, P.L.
109-59

Provide funding to Operation Respond


Institute to design, build, and operate
seamless first responder hazardous materials
incident detection, preparedness, and
response system

None.

Address with appropriated


funds.

13

Moving Ahead for


st
Progress in the 21
Century Act,
P.L. 112-141

3.0 years outstanding. FY 2012: Submit report


to Congress identifying ultimate grant
recipients and include: detailed accounting
and description of each grant expenditure by
recipient, including amount of and purpose
for, each expenditure; number of persons
trained under the grant program, by training
level; an evaluation of the program efficacy of
such planning and training programs; and any
recommendations Secretary may have for
improving grant programs.

Received OMBs approval


for ICR that will allow
PHMSA to address this
mandate in FY 2016 notice
of grant awards.

PHMSA cannot address this


mandate for FY 2012.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

32

Report Title and Number

Outstanding Mandate

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

14

Moving Ahead for


st
Progress in the 21
Century Act,
P.L. 112-141

2.0 years outstanding. FY 2013: Submit report


to Congress identifying ultimate grant
recipients and include: detailed accounting
and description of each grant expenditure by
recipient, including amount of and purpose
for, each expenditure; number of persons
trained under the grant program, by training
level; an evaluation of the program efficacy of
such planning and training programs; and any
recommendations Secretary may have for
improving grant programs.

Received OMBs approval


for ICR that will allow
PHMSA to address mandate
in FY 2016 notice of grant
awards.

PHMSA cannot address this


mandate for FY 2013.

15

Moving Ahead for


st
Progress in the 21
Century Act,
P.L. 112-141

1.0 years outstanding. FY 2014: Submit report


to Congress identifying ultimate grant
recipients and include: detailed accounting
and description of each grant expenditure by
recipient, including amount of and purpose,
for each expenditure; number of persons
trained under grant program, by training level;
an evaluation of program efficacy of planning
and training programs; and any
recommendations Secretary may have for
improving grant programs.

Received OMBs approval


for ICR that will allow
PHMSA to address this
mandate in FY 2016 notice
of grant awards.

PHMSA cannot address this


mandate for FY 2014.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

33

Report Title and Number

Outstanding Mandate

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

16

Moving Ahead for


st
Progress in the 21
Century Act,
P.L. 112-141

2.0 years outstanding. Submit a report to


Congress on the results of the pilot projects
carried out under this section, including: (1) a
detailed description of the pilot projects; (2) an
evaluation of each pilot project, including an
evaluation of the performance of each
paperless hazard communications system in
such project; (3) an assessment of the safety
and security impact of using paperless hazard
communications systems, including any
impact on the public, emergency response,
law enforcement, and the conduct of
inspections and investigations; (4) an analysis
of the associated benefits and costs of using
the paperless hazard communications
systems for each mode of transportation; and
(5) a recommendation that incorporates the
information gathered in subparagraphs (1)
(4) on whether paperless hazard
communications systems should be
permanently incorporated into the Federal
hazardous material transportation safety
program

Conducted 24 pilot tests;


draft report under review.

Conduct data evaluation on


pilot test data and impact
analysis data collection, and
prepare a feasibility and
assessment report.

17

Moving Ahead for


st
Progress in the 21
Century Act,
P.L. 112-141

2.0 years outstanding. 2014: Ongoing review


and analysis of special permits. Not later than
1 year after date on which special permit has
been in continuous effect for 10 years,
conduct review and analysis of that special
permit to determine whether it may be
converted into hazardous materials
regulations.

Evaluated all permits in


initial review completed in
October 2013.

Conduct review analysis of


special permits for FY 2014.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

34

Report Title and Number

Outstanding Mandate

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

18

Moving Ahead for


st
Progress in the 21
Century Act,
P.L. 112-141

1.0 years outstanding. 2015: Ongoing review


and analysis of special permits. Not later than
1 year after date on which special permit has
been in continuous effect for 10 years,
conduct review and analysis of that special
permit to determine whether it may be
converted into hazardous materials
regulations.

Evaluated all permits in


initial review completed in
October 2013.

Conduct review analysis of


special permits for FY 2015.

19

Moving Ahead for


st
Progress in the 21
Century Act,
P.L. 112-141

After completing review and analysis of 10year special permits, either institute
rulemaking to incorporate special permit into
hazmat regulations or publish in Federal
Register its justification for why special permit
is not appropriate for incorporation into
regulations.

Unknown.

Contingent on completion of
rulemaking mandate to issue
regulations to incorporate
into the hazmat regulations
any special permits identified
in the initial review and
analysis that PHMSA
determines are appropriate
for incorporation based on
the review factors.

20

Consolidated and Further


Continuing Appropriations
Act, 2015,
P.L. 113-235

Prior years recoveries recognized in the


current year shall be available to develop a
hazardous materials response training
curriculum for emerge respondersand make
training available through an electronic format.

Made grants to three nonprofit organizations to


develop trainings.

Provide training in electronic


format.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

35

Table 7. Outstanding NTSB Recommendations From 2005 Through 2015 (Including One from
2001 and One from 1998)
Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

PIPELINE SAFETY
1

P-01-02
6/22/2001

Require that excess flow valves be installed in


new and renewed gas service lines, regardless
of customer's classification, when operating
conditions are compatible with readily available
valves.

Sent Final Rule to OST: Pipeline


Safety: Expanding the Use of
Excess Flow Valves in Gas
Distribution Systems to
Applications Other Than SingleFamily Residences.

Publish final rule.

P-09-02
10/27/2009

Based on results of study requested in NTSB


Safety Recommendation P-09-1, to identify
actions pipeline operators can take to eliminate
certain seam failures, implement actions needed.

Ongoing study.

Complete study and implement


necessary actions.

P-11-08
9/26/2011

Require operators of natural gas transmission


and distribution pipelines and hazardous liquid
pipelines to provide system-specific information
about pipeline systems to community emergency
response agencies. Include pipe diameter,
operating pressure, product transported, and
potential impact radius.

Published a Pipeline Public


Awareness Strengths,
Weaknesses, Opportunities, and
Threat (SWOT) report; an ICR:
Pipeline Safety: Request for
Revision of a Previously
Approved Information Collection:
National Pipeline Mapping
System Program; and a revised
ICR.

Develop recommendations for


enhancing American Petroleum
Institute Recommended Practice
1162, Public Awareness
Programs for Pipeline Operators;
OMB approval of ICR.

P-11-09
9/26/2011

Require operators of natural gas transmission


and distribution pipelines and hazardous liquid
pipelines to ensure that control room operators
immediately and directly notify 911 emergency
call centers when possible rupture of any
pipeline is indicated.

Published Advisory Bulletin.


Recommendation included in
NPRM: Pipeline Safety:
Amendments to Parts 192 and
195 to Require Valve Installation
and Minimum Rupture
Detections Standards, revised
based on PHC comments.

OST approve NPRM and


forward to OMB.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

36

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

P-11-10
9/26/2011

Require that all operators of natural gas


transmission and distribution pipelines equip
supervisory control and data acquisition systems
with tools to assist in recognizing and pinpointing
locations of leaks, including line breaks; tools
could include real-time leak detection system
and appropriately spaced flow and pressure
transmitters along covered transmission lines.

Published Advisory Bulletin; Sent


to OST NPRM: Pipeline Safety:
Amendments to Parts 192 and
195 to Require Valve Installation
and Minimum Rupture
Detections Standards.

OST approve NPRM and


forward to OMB.

P-11-11
9/26/2011

Amend 49 CFR 192.935(c) to require that


automatic shutoff valves or remote control valves
in high consequence areas and in class 3 and 4
locations be installed and spaced at intervals that
consider factors listed in that regulation.

Sent to OST NPRM: Pipeline


Safety: Amendments to Parts
192 and 195 to Require Valve
Installation and Minimum
Rupture Detections Standards.

OST approve NPRM and


forward to OMB.

P-11-12
9/26/2011

Amend 49 CFR 199.105 and 199.225 to


eliminate operator discretion with regard to
testing of covered employees. Revised language
should require drug and alcohol testing of each
employee whose performance either contributed
to accident or cannot be completely discounted
as contributing factor.

Published NPRM: Pipeline


Safety: Operator Qualification,
Cost Recovery, and Other
Proposed Changes; started
summarizing comments.

Publish final rule.

P-11-14
9/26/2011

Amend 49 CFR 192.619 to delete grandfather


clause and require that all gas transmission
pipelines constructed before 1970 be subjected
to hydrostatic pressure test that incorporates
spike test.

Issued NPRM: Safety of Gas


Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Review NPRM with appropriate


technical advisory committee.

P-11-15
9/26/2011

Amend 49 CFR 192 so that manufacturing and


construction related defects can only be
considered stable if gas pipeline has been
subjected to post construction hydrostatic
pressure test of at least 1.25 times maximum
allowable operating pressure.

Issued NPRM: Safety of Gas


Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Review NPRM with appropriate


technical advisory committee.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

37

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

10

P-11-18
9/26/2011

Revise integrity management inspection protocol


to incorporate review of meaningful metrics;
require auditors to verify that operator has
procedure for ensuring completeness and
accuracy of underlying information; require
auditors to review all integrity management
performance measures reported to PHMSA and
compare leak, failure, and incident measures to
operators risk model; and require setting
performance goals for pipeline operators at each
audit and follow up on goals at subsequent
audits.

Modified several components of


inspection and enforcement
processes and procedures.

Finish developing data analysis


program to evaluate
performance metrics and post
operator metrics and goals on
Website.

11

P-11-20
9/26/2011

Work with State public utility commissions to:


implement oversight programs that employ
meaningful metrics to assess effectiveness of
oversight programs and make metrics available
in centralized database, and identify and correct
deficiencies in programs.

With National Association of


Pipeline Safety Representatives
(NAPSR), developed draft
metrics and preliminary criteria
for screening.
Reviewed metrics of each State
pipeline program as part of
States annual evaluation and
correct any identified
deficiencies.

Work with NTSB to close


recommendation.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

38

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

12

P-12-03
7/25/2012

Revise 49 C.F.R. 195.452 to clearly state:


when engineering assessment of crack defects,
including environmentally assisted cracks, must
be performed; acceptable methods for
performing these assessments, including
assessment of cracks coinciding with corrosion
with safety factor that considers uncertainties
associated with sizing of crack defects; criteria
for determining when probable crack defect in
pipeline segment must be excavated and time
limits for completing excavations; pressure
restriction limits for crack defects that are not
excavated by required date; and acceptable
methods for determining crack growth for any
cracks allowed to remain in pipe, including
growth caused by fatigue, corrosion fatigue, or
stress corrosion cracking.

Sent Final Rule to OST: Pipeline


Safety: Safety of On-Shore
Hazardous Liquid Pipelines.

OST approve Final Rule and


forward to OMB.

13

P-12-04
7/25/2012

Revise 49 C.F.R. 195.452(h)(2)--discovery of


condition--to require, when determination about
pipeline threats has not been obtained within 180
days following inspection date, that pipeline
operators notify PHMSA and provide expected
date when adequate information will be
available.

Sent Final Rule to OST: Pipeline


Safety: Safety of On-Shore
Hazardous Liquid Pipelines.

OST approve Final Rule and


forward to OMB.

14

P-12-07
7/25/2012

Develop requirements for team training of control


center staff involved in pipeline operations similar
to those used in other transportation modes.

Included recommendation in
NPRM: Pipeline Safety: Operator
Qualifications, Cost Recovery,
and Other Proposed Changes.
The Technical Advisory
Committees approved final rule.

Publish final rule.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

39

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

15

P-12-08
7/25/2012

Extend operator qualification requirements in


49 C.F.R. 195 (G) to all hazardous liquid and
gas transmission control center staff involved in
pipeline operational decisions.

Included recommendation in
NPRM: Pipeline Safety: Operator
Qualifications, Cost Recovery,
and Other Proposed Changes.
The Technical Advisory
Committees approved final rule.

Publish final rule.

16

P-12-09
7/25/2012

Amend 49 C.F.R. Part 194 to harmonize onshore


oil pipeline response planning requirements with
those of Coast Guard and EPA for facilities that
handle and transport oil and petroleum products
to ensure that pipeline operators have adequate
resources available to respond to worst-case
discharges.

Continues study and evaluation


of ways to better harmonize
C.F.R. Part 194 Response
Plans for Onshore Pipelines with
regulations promulgated by other
agencies and intends to
incorporate harmonization or
other changes in next Part 194
update rule.

Incorporate harmonization or
other changes in next update to
49 C.F.R. Part 194.

17

P-14-01
3/5/2014

Revise 49 C.F.R. 903 (O), Gas Transmission


Pipeline Integrity Management, to add principal
arterial roadways including interstates, other
freeways and expressways, other principal
arterial roadways as defined in FHAs Highway
Functional Classification Concepts, Criteria and
Procedures to the list of identified sites that
establish a high consequence area.

Partially addressed through


NPRM: Safety of Gas
Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Review NPRM with appropriate


technical advisory committee.

18

P-15-01
2/10/2015

Assess: need for additional inspection protocol


guidance for State inspectors; adequacy of
existing mentorship program for these
inspectors; and availability of subject matter
experts for consultation with them, and
implement the necessary improvements.

Provided additional
information in Section
5.1.4.d of 2016 Guidelines
for States Participating in
the Pipeline Safety
Program.

Report results and any identified


actions for improvement to
NTSB.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

40

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

19

P-15-02
2/10/2015

Modify overall State program evaluation, training,


and qualification requirements for State
inspectors to include Federal-to-State
coordination in integrity management
inspections.

Report to NTSB results, with any


corrective actions for
improvement, and schedule for
corrective actions.

20

P-15-03
2/10/2015

Work with NAPSR to develop and implement


program to formalize, publicize, and facilitate
increased State-to-State coordination in integrity
management inspections.

Modified Section 5.1.3.a of


2016 Guidelines to add
information regarding
availability of PHMSA
personnel to provide
technical support to State
inspectors.
Sent Operator Coordination
Report to States. Report to be
used by States and PHMSA to
determine whether States have
operators in common to facilitate
coordination of inspections.
Report also helps States
determine whether they have
operators in common with
PHMSA.

21

P-15-04
2/10/2015

Increase positional accuracy of pipeline


centerlines and attribute details relevant to safety
in NPMS.

Published ICR: National Pipeline


Mapping System Program.

Obtain OMB approval of ICR


and update NTSB.

22

P-15-05
2/10/2015

Revise submission requirement to include high


consequence area identification as attribute data
element to NPMS.

Published NPRM: Pipeline


Safety: Safety of Gas
Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Review NPRM with appropriate


technical advisory committee.

23

P-15-06
2/10/2015

Assess limitations associated with current


process for identifying HCAs, and disseminate
results of assessment to pipeline industry,
inspectors, and public.

Performing assessment of
limitations associated with
current process for identifying
HCAs.

Finalize HCA assessment and


publish results in an advisory
bulletin.

24

P-15-07
2/10/2015

Work with Federal Geographic Data Committee


(FGDC) to identify and publish standards and
specifications for geospatial data commonly used
by gas transmission pipeline operators, and
disseminate standards and specifications to
operators and inspectors.

Met with FGDC but plans to take


no further actions.

Report to NTSB on FGDC


meeting outcome in next
comprehensive
recommendations update (past
due).

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

Update NTSB on actions taken


to address this recommendation
(past due).

41

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

25

P-15-08
2/10/2015

Work with appropriate Federal, State, and local


agencies to develop national repository of
geospatial data resources for process for HCA
identification, and publicize availability of
repository.

Met with FGDC, which


recommended not developing a
new repository.
OPS is procuring drinking water
and ecological data.

Evaluate feasibility of repository,


additional datasets that can aid
in HCA identification and provide
update to NTSB (past due).

26

P-15-09
2/10/2015

Establish minimum criteria for eliminating threats,


and provide guidance to gas transmission
pipeline operators for documenting rationales for
all eliminated threats.

Published NPRM: Pipeline


Safety: Safety of Gas
Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Complete Final Rule and


publish results in advisory
bulletin and updated inspection
protocol guidance.

27

P-15-10
2/10/2015

Update guidance for gas transmission pipeline


operators and inspectors on evaluation of
interactive threats. Should list all threat
interactions that must be evaluated and
acceptable methods to be used.

Held risk modeling workshop


and established risk modeling
workgroup that includes industry
and other stakeholders, to
address perceived shortcomings
in application of certain risk
models.

Perform evaluation of interactive


threats and publish results in
advisory bulletin and as updated
inspection protocol guidance
(past due).

28

P-15-11
2/10/2015

Develop and implement specific risk assessment


training for inspectors in verifying technical
validity of risk assessments that operators use.

Began developing training


material regarding risk
assessments.

Provide risk assessment training


under development to NTSB
(past due).

29

P-15-12
2/10/2015

Evaluate safety benefits of four risk assessment


approaches currently allowed by gas integrity
management regulations; determine whether
they produce comparable safety benefit;
disseminate results to industry, inspectors, and
public.

Established risk modeling


workgroup on four risk models
and other matters.

Disseminate workgroups results


to industry, inspectors, and
public.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

42

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

30

P-15-13
2/10/2015

Update guidance for gas transmission pipeline


operators and inspectors on critical components
of risk assessment approaches. Include:
methods for setting weighting factors; factors that
should be included in consequence of failure
calculations; appropriate risk metrics and
methods for aggregating risk along pipeline.

Established risk modeling


workgroup on four risk models
and other matters.

Evaluate guidance on critical


components of risk assessment
approaches, identify needed
improvements, and revise
guidance.

31

P-15-14
2/10/2015

Revise 49 CFR 192.915 to require all


personnel involved in integrity management
programs to meet minimum professional
qualification criteria.

Provided initial response to


NTSB.

Issue advisory bulletin.

32

P-15-15
2/10/2015

Revise PHMSA Form F7100.1, Annual Report


Form, to collect information about which methods
of HCA identification and risk assessment
approaches were used.

Published ICR: National Pipeline


Mapping System Program.

Revise PHMSA Form F7100.1,


Annual Report Form.

33

P-15-16
2/10/2015

Revise PHMSA Form F7100.2, Incident Report


Form to: collect information about both results of
previous assessments and previously identified
threats for each pipeline segment involved in
incident; allow for inclusion of multiple root
causes when multiple threats interacted.

Published notice in Federal


Register proposing changes to
Form F7100.2.

Will evaluate comments to


Federal Register notice before
revising PHMSA Form F7100.2.

34

P-15-17
2/10/2015

Develop program to use data collected in


response to Safety Recommendations P-11-15
and P-11-16 to evaluate relationship between
incident occurrences and: inappropriate
elimination of threats; interactive threats; risk
assessment approaches used by gas
transmission pipeline operators. Disseminate
results of evaluation to industry, inspectors, and
public annually.

Provided initial response to


NTSB.

Evaluate method for conducting


analysis to include potential
changes to investigation and
data systems and communicate
findings to NTSB (past due).

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

43

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

35

P-15-18
2/10/2015

Require that all natural gas transmission


pipelines be capable of being in-line inspected by
either reconfiguring pipeline to accommodate in
line inspection tools or by use of new technology
that permits inspection of previously uninspectable pipelines; priority should be given to
highest risk transmission pipelines that considers
age, internal pressure, pipe diameter, and class
location (Safety Recommendation P-15-18
superseded Safety Recommendation P-11-17).

Published NPRM: Safety of Gas


Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Complete final rule and forward


to OST.

36

P-15-20
2/10/2015

Identify all operational complications that limit


use of in-line inspection tools in piggable
pipelines, develop methods to eliminate
operational complications, and require operators
to use these methods to increase se of in-line
inspection tools.

Published NPRM: Safety of Gas


Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Complete final rule and forward


to OST.

37

P-15-21
2/10/2015

Develop and implement plan for eliminating use


of direct assessment as sole integrity
assessment method for gas transmission
pipelines.

Published NPRM: Safety of Gas


Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Complete final rule and forward


to OST.

38

P-15-22
2/10/2015

Develop and implement plan for all segments of


pipeline industry to improve data integration for
integrity management through use of geographic
information systems (GIS).

Published NPRM: Safety of Gas


Transmission and Gathering
Pipelines.

Complete final rule and forward


to OST.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

44

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

HAZARDOUS MATERIALS SAFETY


39

A-08-01
1/7/2008

In collaboration with air carriers and


manufacturers of lithium batteries and electronic
devices, air travel associations, and other
appropriate Government and private
organizations, establish process to ensure wider,
highly visible, and continuous dissemination of
guidance and information to air-traveling public,
including flight crews, about safe carriage of
rechargeable lithium batteries or electronic
devices containing them on board passenger
aircraft.

Continued efforts to provide


guidance to public on safe use of
batteries through SafeTravel
campaign, monitored passenger
and flight crew awareness and
behavior, and assessed visibility
of SafeTravel campaign.

Provide NTSB documentation to


indicate that guidance has been
used and information about
methodology used to measure
effectiveness of guidance.

40

A-08-02
1/7/2008

In collaboration with air carriers, manufacturers


of lithium batteries and electronic devices, etc.,
establish process to periodically measure
effectiveness of efforts to educate air-traveling
public, including flight crews, about safe carriage
of rechargeable lithium batteries on passenger
aircraft.

Continued efforts to provide


guidance to public on safe use of
batteries through SafeTravel
campaign, monitored passenger
and flight crew awareness and
behavior, and assessed visibility
of SafeTravel campaign.

Develop a plan to fully address


the recommendation and provide
NTSB documentation to indicate
that guidance has been used
and information about the
methodology used to measure
the effectiveness of guidance.

41

H-04-23
7/1/2004

Require periodic nondestructive testing on nurse


tanks to identify material flaws that could develop
and grow during tank's service and result in tank
failure.

As required by FAST Act,


withdrew rulemaking: Hazardous
Materials: Safety Requirements
for External Product Piping on
Cargo Tanks Transporting
Flammable Liquids.

Unknown, dependent upon


response from NTSB.

42

H-09-01
3/5/2009

Modify 49 CFR 173.301 to clearly require that:


cylinders be securely mounted on mobile
acetylene trailers and other trailers with manifold
cylinders to reduce likelihood of cylinders being
ejected during accident; cylinder valves, piping,
and fittings be protected from multidirectional
impact forces likely to occur during highway
accidents, including rollovers.

Published NPRM: Miscellaneous


Amendments (RRR).

Complete final rule and forward


to OST.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

45

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

43

H-09-02
3/5/2009

Require fail-safe equipment that ensures that


operators of mobile acetylene trailers perform
unloading procedures correctly and in sequence.

Published NPRM: Miscellaneous


Amendments (RRR).

Complete final rule and forward


to OST.

44

H-11-04
9/2/2011

Work with FMCSA to develop and disseminate


guidance to assist hazardous materials carriers
in implementing comprehensive cargo tank
motor vehicle rollover prevention programs,
including active participation of drivers,
dispatchers, and management through training,
loading practices, delivery schedules, and
acquisition of equipment.

Augmented Hazardous Materials


Transportation Training Module
5.1 and sponsored
Transportation Research Board
(TRB) study, Role of Human
Factors in Preventing Cargo
Tank Rollovers.

Take action based on analysis of


TRB research project.

45

H-11-05
9/2/2011

Conduct comprehensive analysis of all available


accident data on DOT specification cargo tanks
to identify cargo tank designs and associated
dynamic forces that pose higher risk of failure
and release of hazardous materials in accidents.
Then study dynamic forces acting on susceptible
structures under varying accident conditions and
develop performance standards to eliminate or
mitigate the risks.

Initiated 6-month special study to


improve data quality on cargo
tank rollover incidents.

Complete project and develop


standards.

46

H-11-06
9/2/2011

Once standards in Safety Recommendation H11-5 have been developed, require that all newly
manufactured cargo tanks comply with
standards.

Initiated 6-month special study to


improve the data quality on
cargo tank rollover incidents.

Complete project and develop


standards.
Complete NPRM and forward to
OST.

47

R-07-04
4/25/2007

With FRAs assistance, require that railroads


immediately provide to emergency responders
accurate, real-time information regarding identity
and location of all hazardous materials on a train.

Volpe Center completed draft


feasibility and assessment study,
and PHMSA initiated new
rulemaking adopting 7302 of
FAST Act.

Provide feasibility and


assessment report to Congress.
Complete both related
rulemakings.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

46

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

48

R-08-13
5/22/2008

With FRAs assistance, evaluate risks posed to


train crews by unit trains transporting hazardous
materials, determine optimum separation
requirements between occupied locomotives and
hazardous materials cars, and review 49 CFR
174.85.

Working with FRA to determine


best way to modify, streamline,
expand, or repeal relevant
regulations.

Coordinate with FRA to review


findings that may support
regulatory changes.

49

R-12-07
3/2/2012

Require that all newly manufactured and existing


tank cars authorized for transportation of
hazardous materials have center sill or draft sill
attachment designs that conform to revised
Association of American Railroads (AAR) design
requirements adopted as a result of Safety
Recommendation R-12-9 (recommendation
given to Association of American Railroads).

Jointly with FRA leading a


Railroad Safety Advisory
Committee (RSAC) initiative to
address this recommendation.

Complete work with RSAC.


Complete NPRM and forward to
OST.

50

R-14-05
1/21/2014

Revise spill response planning thresholds


contained in 49 CFR 130 to require
comprehensive response plans to effectively
provide for carriers ability to respond to worstcase discharges resulting from accidents
involving unit trains or blocks of tank cars
transporting oil and petroleum products.

Published NPRM: Hazardous


Materials: Oil Spill Response
Plans for High-Hazard
Flammable Trains.

Complete final rule and forward


to OST.

51

R-14-06
1/21/2014

Require shippers to sufficiently test and


document physical and chemical characteristics
of hazardous materials to ensure proper
classification, packaging, and record-keeping of
products.

The Secretary signed final rule,


Hazardous Materials: Enhanced
Tank Car Standards and
Operational Controls for HighHazard Flammable Trains.

Identify uniform sampling and


testing methodology.

52

R-14-14
8/26/2014
(DOT is lead
agency)

Require railroads transporting hazardous


materials through communities to provide
emergency responders and local and State
emergency planning committees with current
commodity flow data and assist with
development of emergency operations and
response plans.

The Secretary signed final rule,


Hazardous Materials: Enhanced
Tank Car Standards and
Operational
Controls for High-Hazard
Flammable Trains.

Expand advanced notification for


all hazmat and railroads.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

47

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

53

R-14-18
8/26/2014

Take action to ensure that emergency response


information carried by train crews is consistent
with and at least as protective as existing
emergency response guidance provided in
Emergency Response Guidebook.

Informed NTSB that


contemplating possible actions.

Unknown; PHMSA did not


commit to specific action.

54

R-14-19
8/26/2014

Require railroads transporting hazardous


materials to develop, implement, and periodically
evaluate a public education program similar to 49
CFR 192.616 and 195.440 for the communities
along railroad hazardous materials routes.

Continued to participate in and


promote efforts of
Transportation Community
Awareness and Emergency
Response program, and to
encourage operators to target
both public and emergency
response community.

Review public awareness


program for pipeline operators.

55

R-14-20
8/26/2014

Collaborate with FRA and the American Short


Line and Regional Railroad Association
(ASLRRA) to develop risk assessment tool that
addresses known limitations and shortcomings of
Rail Corridor Risk Management System software
tool.

Informed NTSB that it will not be


significantly involved in FRAs
efforts to address
recommendation.

Unknown, dependent upon


response from NTSB.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

48

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

56

R-14-21
8/26/2014

Collaborate with FRA and ASLRRA to conduct


audits of short line and regional railroads to
ensure that route risk assessments that identify
safety and security vulnerabilities are performed
and incorporated into a safety management
system program.

Informed NTSB that it will not be


significantly involved in FRAs
efforts to address
recommendation.

Unknown, dependent upon


response from NTSB.

57

R-15-14
4/3/2015

0.4 years outstanding. Require that all new and


existing tank cars used to transport Class 3
flammable liquids be equipped with thermal
protection systems that meet or exceed thermal
performance standards 49 CFR 179.18(a) and
are appropriately qualified for tank car
configuration and commodity transported.

The Secretary signed final rule


Hazardous Materials: Enhanced
Tank Car Standards and
Operational Controls for HighHazard Flammable Trains.

Unknown, dependent upon


response from NTSB.

58

R-15-15
4/3/2015

0.4 years outstanding. In conjunction with


thermal protection systems called for in safety
recommendation R-15-14, require that new and
existing tank cars used to transport Class 3
flammable liquids be equipped with appropriately
sized pressure relief devices that allow release of
pressure under fire conditions to ensure thermal
performance that meets or exceeds the
requirements of 49 CFR 179.18(a), and that
minimizes likelihood of energetic thermal
ruptures.

The Secretary signed final rule:


Hazardous Materials: Enhanced
Tank Car Standards and
Operational Controls for HighHazard Flammable Trains..

Unknown, dependent upon


response from NTSB.

24

24

NTSB marked recommendations R-15-14 through R-15-17 as urgent. NTSB Order 70B states that, typically, urgent recommendations should be implemented within 1 year.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

49

Rec. No and
Issue Date

Open NTSB Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

59

R-15-16
4/3/2015

0.4 years outstanding. Require aggressive,


intermediate progress milestone schedule, such
as 20 percent yearly completion metric over 5year implementation period, for replacement or
retrofitting of legacy DOT-111 and CPC-1232
tank cars to appropriate tank car performance
standards that include equipping cars with
jackets, thermal protection, and appropriately
sized pressure relief devices.

Determined that the FAST Act


prevents the Agency from
implementing this
recommendation.

Establish intermediate metrics


for evaluating safety
improvement.

60

R-15-17
4/3/2015

0.4 years outstanding. Establish publicly


available reporting mechanism that reports at
least annually, progress on retrofitting and
replacing tank cars subject to thermal protection
system performance standards as recommended
in safety recommendation R-15-16.

Working with stakeholders to


modify an industry reporting
system to include progress on
retrofitting or replacing tank cars.

Complete efforts to establish


publicly available reporting
mechanism.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

50

Table 8. Outstanding GAO Recommendations From 2005 to 2015


Issue Date

Report Title and Number

Open GAO Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

PI P E LI NE S AF ET Y
Collecting Data and
Sharing Information on
Federally Unregulated
Gathering Pipelines Could
Help Enhance Safety,
GAO-12-388

Collect data from operators of federally


unregulated onshore hazardous liquid and
gas gathering pipelines subsequent to
analysis of benefits and industry burdens
associated with such data collection.

Sent Final Rule to


OST: Pipeline Safety:
Safety of On-Shore
Hazardous Liquid
Pipelines.
Published NPRM:
Pipeline Safety:
Safety of Gas
Transmission and
Gathering Pipelines.

OST approve Final


Rule and forward to
OMB.

1/23/2013

Better Data and Guidance


Needed to Improve
Pipeline Operator Incident
Response,
GAO-13-168

Improve reliability of incident response data


and use these data to evaluate whether to
implement performance-based framework for
incident response times.

Issued a 60-day
notice inviting
comments on
proposed revisions
to relative incident
and accident report
forms.

Finalize incident
report forms to
improve reliability of
incident response
data.

1/23/2013

Better Data and Guidance


Needed to Improve
Pipeline Operator Incident
Response,
GAO-13-168

To assist operators in determining whether to


install automated valves, use PHMSAs
existing information-sharing mechanisms to
alert pipeline operators of inspection and
enforcement guidance that provides additional
information on hazmat.

Publicly posts its


enforcement
guidance.

Complete valve
and rupture
detection NPRM
and forward to
OST.

3/22/2012

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

Review NPRM with


appropriate technical
advisory committee.

51

Issue Date

Report Title and Number

Actions Taken

Actions Needed
Submit completed
memo and guidance
to GAO.

6/27/2013

Guidance and More


Information Needed before
Using Risk-Based
Reassessment Intervals,
GAO-13-577

To improve how operators calculate


reassessment intervals, Secretary of
Transportation should direct PHMSAs
Administrator to develop guidance for
operators to use in determining risks and
calculating reassessment intervals.

Analyzed resources
needed to implement
risk-based
reassessment
intervals and drafted
memo and guidance
describing
considerations.

6/27/2013

Guidance and More


Information Needed before
Using Risk-Based
Reassessment Intervals,
GAO-13-577

To better identify resource requirements


needed to implement risk-based
reassessment intervals beyond 7 years for
gas transmission pipelines, Secretary of
Transportation should direct PHMSAs
Administrator to collect information on
feasibility of addressing potential challenges
of implementing risk-based reassessment
intervals beyond 7 years, for example by
preparing report or developing legislative
proposal for pilot program, in consultation with
Congress, that studies impact to regulators
and operators of potential rule change.

Conducting research
to assess
requirements needed
to implement riskbased reassessment
intervals beyond 7
years for gas
transmission.

Submit completed
memo and guidance
to GAO.

8/21/2014

Department of
Transportation is Taking
Actions to Address Rail
Safety, but Additional
Actions are Needed to
Improve Pipeline Safety,
GAO-14-667

DOT should move forward with proposed


rulemaking to address safety risks, including
emergency response planning, from newer
gathering pipelines.

Sent Final Rule to


OST: Pipeline Safety:
Safety of On-Shore
Hazardous Liquid
Pipelines.
Published NPRM:
Pipeline Safety:
Safety of Gas
Transmission and
Gathering Pipelines.

OST approve Final


Rule and forward to
OMB.
Review NPRM with
appropriate technical
advisory committee.

Open GAO Recommendation

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

52

Issue Date

Report Title and Number

Open GAO Recommendation

Actions Taken

Actions Needed

Established
dashboard in
reporting system to
identify potential
wetline incidents;
created system to
send incident reports
directly to modal
partners and internal
subject matter
experts.

Create specific
wetlines
validation codes for
incident reporting.

H AZ AR D O U S M AT E RI AL S S AF ET Y
9/11/2013

CARGO TANK TRUCKS:


Improved Incident Data
and Regulatory Analysis
Would Better Inform
Decisions about Safety
Risks,
GAO-13-721

Address limitations in accuracy and


completeness of information used to assess
impact of wet line incidents, such as by
specifying circumstances when to seek
missing cause and cost information, and using
sources other than carrier to acquire
information (such as investigations by local
law enforcement or other federal agencies),
particularly for most severe incidents for which
accurate incident information is critical to
oversight.

Exhibit E. Outstanding Recommendations and Mandates

53

EXHIBIT F. MAJOR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS REPORT


Name

Title

Wendy M. Harris

Program Director

Jerrold Savage

Project Manager

Olivia Starr

Senior Analyst

Jason Beach

Analyst

Chelsea Lenhart

Analyst

Arturo Loya

Analyst

Susan Neill

Writer/Editor

Petra Swartzlander

Senior Statistician

Exhibit F. Major Contributors to This Report

54

APPENDIX. AGENCY COMMENTS

Memorandum
U.S. Department
of Transportation
Pipeline and
Hazardous Materials
Safety Administration

Date: September 26, 2016


Subject:

From:

To:

INFORMATION: Management Response to Office of


Inspector General Draft Report on Insufficient Guidance
Oversight and Coordination Hinder PHMSAs Full
Implementation of Mandates and Recommendations
Marie Therese Dominguez
PHMSA Administrator
Barry J. DeWeese
Assistant Inspector General for Surface Transportation Audits
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administrations (PHMSA) mission is
to protect people and the environment by advancing the safe transportation of energy
and other hazardous materials that are essential to our daily lives. PHMSA is
committed to ensuring that mandates and recommendations regarding pipeline and
hazardous materials transportation safety are fully implemented in a timely manner.
We completed an organizational assessment in February 2016 and many of the OIGs
findings are consistent with the results of our own evaluation. Following that
assessment, PHMSA began implementing a number of changes to its organizational
structure. Specifically, we established the following new positions and office:

A career Executive Director/Chief Safety Officer position to ensure


consistency and continuity of operations. We also created two separate
positionsChief Financial Officer and an Associate Administrator of
Administration; and

A new agency office, the Office of Planning and Analytics (OPA), to enhance
planning and project management, data analysis, and rulemaking capabilities
for the entire agency.

In addition, the following significant efforts are currently underway or completed,


and will greatly enhance PHMSAs oversight of mandates and recommendations:
Appendix. Agency Comments

55

Developing agency-wide approaches and standard operating procedures to


monitor and track actions from mandates, audits, recommendations, and
rulemaking actions through the new Office of Planning and Analytics. This
office will also work to improve collaboration within and outside PHMSA
through revised or new standard operating procedures (SOPs) to ensure all
parties understand and execute their duties consistently, while maintaining
flexibility to exercise priorities differently. Further, the Office of Planning and
Analytics will document and track agency-wide activities through new or
revised policies, steering committees, and merged or modified online tracking
systems.

Establishing a Regulatory Steering Committee, a governance structure cochaired by PHMSAs Deputy Administrator and Executive Director and
composed of senior leadership across the Agency. The committee is charged
with overseeing the regulatory development process and prioritizing and
allocating resources for PHMSAs rulemakings. The committee will ensure a
more timely and effective response to mandates and recommendations.

Updated the status of each mandate and recommendation in Exhibit E of the


OIGs draft report to include actions taken and actions needed with target
dates.

Successfully coordinated with other Department of Transportation (DOT)


Operating Administrations (OAs) on a number of rulemakings and audits, and
improved its coordination processes through new and or revised SOPs,
operational workflow documents, and steering committees.

These significant changes will help PHMSA effectively centralize, streamline and
better document its decision-making process, while maintaining the accountability
and expertise of its various specialized offices.
Based upon our review of the draft report, we concur with recommendations 1, 2, 4
(with a corresponding adjustment to align with our comments to recommendation 3)
and 5, as written. We plan to complete actions to implement Recommendation 1 by
March 31, 2017; Recommendation 2 by January 31, 2017; Recommendation 4 by
December 31, 2017; and Recommendation 5 by December 31, 2017. Regarding
Recommendation 3, we concur with the intent of the recommendation but propose an
alternative course of action with a target implementation date of December 31, 2017.
We propose developing and implementing a standardized process for collaborating
across DOT instead of developing and implementing written agreements for
coordinating with other Operating Administrations. The written process will include
roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and required documentation on
decisions and will be coordinated with the OAs. In accordance with recommendation
4, we would communicate guidance on the implementation of that written process to
the Office of Hazardous Materials Safety.

Appendix. Agency Comments

56

We will continue to strengthen our oversight controls and policies for timely
implementation of mandates and recommendations and appreciate the opportunity to
comment on the OIG draft report. Please contact Mindy Shalaby, Acting Audit
Liaison, at 202-366-0078 with any questions or if you require additional information.

Appendix. Agency Comments